Peter Evans discusses all the published compositions in subdivisions of genre and period, and devotes a separate chapter to each opera. With the help of over 300 music examples and diagrams, he demonstrates Britten's mastery of the art of composition - tonal and harmonic structures, thematic cast and transformation, textual variety and the imaginative deployment of voices and instruments. Since this book's appearance in 1979, Britten's publishers have made available a considerable number of works withheld during the composer's lifetime; some are juvenilia, but others date from a late as the Peter Grimes period. In a postscript to this first paperback edition, Peter Evans assesses the creative stature of these works and their significance in Britten's development. The catalogue of works now includes these additional titles, and the selective bibliography has been revised.